This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Be Like Buffett and Pick Your Replacement

Stocks in this article: BRK.A NWS AIG

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Warren Buffett, secretly, has one for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A). Rupert Murdoch made news when he tipped his hat with initial details of News Corp.'s (NWS). Robert Benmosche nearly triggered one for AIG (AIG) when he huffed and puffed about government oversight.

The "it" in question is a business-succession plan, something a surprising number of companies, particularly small businesses, lack.

A recent survey by MassMutual found that 62% of the businesses it questioned don't have a legally documented succession plan. That means that in the event of death, disability or divorce, the loss of leadership and resulting uncertainties could bring about hardship and controversy as heirs carve out a niche for themselves.

The low percentage of succession plans presents an opportunity for insurance companies like John Hancock and MetLife (MET) as they market whole-life policies that can assist with the passing of the torch.

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett

"At the end of the day, it's about where you want your business to go," says Beth Wood, assistant vice president of business owner advocacy at MassMutual. "So many business owners, especially small-business owners, worry about the day-to-day but forget about the long term and thinking about where they want their business to go in terms of ownership."

Wood relates a story told to her by a business acquaintance about how things can go wrong. In this instance, a man lost his wife to a car accident.

"After three weeks of grieving, he decided he needed to pick himself up," she says. "He walked into his wife's business, where her former partner was, sat down at a staff meeting and said, 'OK, I'm ready to work.' Because there was no buy-sell agreement, he inherited 50% of the company. His wife's former partner was shocked and, even though she didn't really care for the gentleman, found herself in the position of having a new de facto partner."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs